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First-Year Experience: About

What is First-Year Experience?

All first year students at Armstrong take the First-Year Seminar as part of the First Class Learning Community. They may also participate in other First-Year Learning Communities (FLCs), as well as the Common Read program. Through each of these campus-wide efforts, we intentionally and repeatedly invite students to engage in active learning as we expand the space of the classroom to include working with peers, engaging with the broader community, and sharing research across campus.

All students with less than 30 earned hours, or those who are on academic warning, probation or suspension will have their mid-term grades reported to their academic advisor via a program called GradesFirst. GradesFirst is a comprehensive academic advising tool that helps your advisor contact you, schedule appointments and follow-up with you if your faculty member is concerned about your performance in his or her courses. When you receive notices or emails from GradesFirst, you should take them seriously and respond to your advisor's attempts to reach you.

Philosophy and Goals

First-Year Experience (FYE) programming is interdisciplinary in nature and focuses on first-year students and their transition out of high school and into university life.

Relying on campus collaborations between and among faculty, staff, administrators, and students, we aim to enhance the success of first-year students, steering them to embrace the academic rigor of university studies while also participating in co-curricular activities. We invite our first-year students to grow in their critical thinking, their appreciation for diversity and tolerance, and their understanding of the benefits of the liberal arts education we provide through our core curriculum.

Our goals are simple: increased student learning, achievement, success and engagement in both their curricular and co-curricular experiences.


Formal FYE programming at Armstrong dates back at least to the turn of the century, when the university began exploring various student learning communities and paired course offerings, while also expanding its offering of “success” or “university experience” classes.

In 2008, an increased focus on all things FYE included the hiring of several core curriculum faculty who would concentrate efforts on program enhancements and work alongside a newly formed First-Year Experience Task Force comprising university-wide administrators, staff, and faculty. Three years of research, experimentation and collaboration have brought the program to its present state, one where every entering first-year student has abundant opportunities to identify — and then attain — personally derived marks of success.


Read More Armstrong to Present Visiting Writers Series Event Featuring Elise Blackwell on Oct. 5

(September 28, 2017) - Armstrong State University’s College of Liberal Arts will present a reading by acclaimed writer Elise Blackwell. The author of five novels, including Hunger, which was named the "Best Book of 2003” by the Los Angeles Times, Blackwell will read from her latest work of fiction, The Lower Quarter

Read More Armstrong Biology Senior Selected for National Science Foundation Summer Research Opportunity at UC Berkeley

(April 6, 2017) – Rising Armstrong State University senior Haley Breanne Kodak has been selected as one of 10 students to participate in the National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates program at the University of California (UC), Berkeley. From June 4 through Aug. 11, Kodak, a first-generation college student and Biology major, will live on campus at UC Berkeley and work on an individual biology research project with a faculty member.

Read More Armstrong Art Senior Creates Winning Logo Design for 2019 Conference

(April 4, 2017) – A design created by Armstrong Senior Sonia Mednick, an Art major with a concentration in Graphic Design, was chosen as the official logo for the 2019 Southern Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (SASHTO) annual meeting, which will be held in Savannah, Ga. 

Read More Armstrong State University Introduces New Study Abroad Program in Cuba

(March 10, 2017) – Armstrong State University will offer a new study abroad program in Havana, Cuba from July 9-29, 2017. Students will learn about the history, culture and contemporary issues affecting the Communist island nation post-Fidel Castro. The program is open to all Armstrong students, as well as University System of Georgia transient students, and offers a roster of semester credits.

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